The opposite of self-sufficiency is welfare. The government gives many people in need as well as many who would likely do just fine on their own money in several different forms that are meant to aid these people alone. This article is not about attacking the people who really need assistance. Everyone should think twice if you are counting on the government being there when the apocalypse happens. Depending on the circumstances or any given event, it may take days, weeks, or even much longer to come to your aid.
During a small event such as a freak storm where your power goes out for a few days, it will be just a matter of time before your food spoils and you are stuck with that one can of peas that is in the back of your cupboard. This is not where you want to be. You should have at least a few days worth of food that you don't have to cook in your home. Remember, if your power is out, the gas stations and McDonald's power is out as well. There might not be any place to get food for a couple of days. The government may come to your aid after they figure out that you need it, if they even think that you do need it.
What about a larger event like a hurricane that takes out power for over a million people for over a week and destroys many people's homes. The government will try to help the people that are the worst hit first. Gas and food sources could be shut down for a long time. The government could be taxed to the limit, and will be focused on digging out survivors and getting the lights back on. There may be charities that come in with food, but it will be intermittent, and that may not be helpful if you don't know where they are. In this situation you need to have prepared for a couple of weeks to a month.
How about a worse event such as a terrorist attack that takes down the entire power grid, or what if the government collapses? Well, in this case, nobody is coming anytime soon. If you are depending on somebody else to help you then you are probably going to be out of luck. Power and communications will be down or so spotty that you won't know what is going on anyways. In this case, you had better be prepared for six months to a year or more. Better, you should try to be self-sufficient by growing your own food, and raising your own animals.
These are all hopefully just terrible things that will never happen to you. But you should be thinking about these things. What if something does happen? These things happen all the time all over the world. What are you going to eat? What if there are extreme temperatures? How to you stay cool or warm? What is your family going to do? What happens if you lose your home and have nowhere to go? You are now homeless. Is your family ready for that? These are things you should be asking yourself.
It doesn't take a whole lot to prepare for these things. Start saving some extra food each time you shop. Buy some extra canned meats and vegetables each week to get you going. Pick up some tools and things that you will need in an emergency. Before long you will have enough to last comfortably in your home through many types of disasters and if you keep doing this, your chances will only get better. How about beyond that? What you prepare for depends on what you are worried about. Read up on what you will need to be prepared. It's not like buying extra food, flashlights, candles, and things is a waste of money. Sooner or later you will use them.
Please don't take this the wrong way. I am not trying to be down on people who need help. If you can, don't allow yourself to become dependent on government aid. If you cannot, make sure you have a backup plan for when the government can no longer help you.